June 29, 2018: Weekly Spatial Resolutions

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Billionaires and space forces abound. This site contains my opinions and ideas only, not the opinions or ideas of any organization I work for. It’s my idea playground, and I’m inviting you in. Welcome!

The Billionaire Space Race Is Making Life Difficult for Airlines

Well, actually…

…the Federal Aviation Administration has only itself to blame. There are some very, very smart people working inside Centers of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation. If you take a peek at these COE’s technical briefings, here (look under the “SPACE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PANEL” section), you’ll see that they’ve been working on the Air/Space Traffic management nut for a while, with some plausible solutions. There were even some more by the same COE’s last year. Which means there are well-thought-out solutions to tackle and embrace, if the FAA has the cojones to do so.

Since COE CST works basically at the FAA’s pleasure, most FAA folks in the know would hopefully be aware of these solutions. Which means, at least to me, this article is more political scheming and maneuvering, possibly by stakeholders in the air transportation industry.

There’s No ‘Jungle Force.’ Who Needs a Space Force?

Silly comparison with a question others are already striving to answer in a better manner and more eloquently than the attempt in this Wall Street Journal article. And people are paying to read it.

New Citizenship Applications For Asgardia

And new ‘citizens’ will be allowed to select their favorite colored sugar water flavor laced with a particular ingredient at the appointed time. I’m not advising whether to join this scheme or not. But I am saying to not be surprised when paper cups are distributed to the citizens.

One cubesat does not a space nation make. But when a leader appoints him/herself as a leader of that nation, it’s time to cut bait.

Cape Canaveral, Reinvigorated

Apparently, like most of the state’s elderly population (in other words, most of Florida’s population), there’s a blue pill for spaceport activity, too (don’t look at me–I didn’t use the word “reinvigorate” in the title :-)).

It has been heartening to see the community embrace the new opportunities for space industry, and the article does a decent job pointing out some of the reasons for the “re-invigoration.” I remember when people were clearing out of the area about ten years ago, losing their shirts on their homes, and other such economic problems. So, blue pill jokes aside, the investments and growth are a good thing.

If NASA can overcome human error and other problems, its James Webb Space Telescope may finally launch in 2021

To be clear, there seem to be at least 31 other problems. And those are only the ones the independent review board identified. For a program such as this, with as many contractors and other stakeholders involved, there are probably a few hundred skeletons in this program’s closets. But at least JWST is giving NASA’s other delayed program, the Space Launch System, a run for the amount of money spent on a program (although not quite as much as SLS, which is in a league of its own, cost-wise–72% of the program’s budget is for overhead! Really!).

Is the U.S. government treating both programs as “too big to fail?” It looks that way–just ask the parts of NASA in Alabama.

Mail Delivery By Rockets

Did you know people tried sending mail with rockets? I didn’t. Fun to see who tried to make this work. Even the U.S. put a toe in the “missile mail” water.

Will the Future Run on Moon Power? India’s Space Agency Bets Yes.

In case anyone forgot just how serious India is about space. Instead of sending humans to the Moon, the nation wants to mine it–maybe with humans–for Helium-3.

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy in New York City? See rockets in everyday places

This is fun. Everyday Astronaut placed some CGI rockets in the middle of places we are somewhat familiar with, to give just a sense of size and scale of the rockets. My favorite is the Soyuz FG in front of Niagara Falls. The Soyuz is just a classic rocket, in every sense of the word. A direct link to the YouTube video here.

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